Monday Update: Task force and committee reports

May 18, 2020

Message from Debra Sellers, on behalf of the Office of the Vice President, to staff, faculty, and councils

As we begin week 10 of working remotely, we are fortunate to have three groups of dedicated colleagues working on various aspects of reopening ISU Extension and Outreach. All three will help us reopen in a manner that prioritizes the health and safety of our staff and faculty, volunteers, participants, and communities.

Donovan Olson is leading our COVID-19 Recovery Task Force. (Please review their charge and list of members.) Donovan shares that the task force is not meant to replace the work going on within the program areas and in counties. There will be specialized needs from stakeholders and partners that should continue. Rather, the task force is looking across our state and our system to identify gaps in our capacity to address the current situation, existing programs that should be amplified, or new opportunities where we can have an impact. Task force members have identified programs and needs under two broad categories –resources to meet immediate community needs and resources for what we will do in the near future and longer term. The task force has enlisted community and economic development specialists to facilitate as the task force evaluates and prioritizes options.

Our Virtual Education Task Force began meeting on May 8 and will be meeting for 90 minutes weekly to ensure completion of their objectives. (Please review their charge and the list of members.) The task force members started their work by discussing what “successful” means within a virtual education context. They determined the need to gather information about the virtual education taking place within our system. Their first, short-term deliverable is to “define the successes and challenges that faced ISU Extension and Outreach during the transition to a wholly online learning paradigm.” To accomplish this deliverable, the members created two tracking spread sheets (one related to success and one related to current virtual education) and committed to contributing to them from their unique perspective.

Our Open for Iowa Committee will continue to meet regularly to plan for ISU Extension and Outreach’s reopening. (Please review the message from the committee that I shared on Friday, May 15.) The committee members have been assessing guidance from many sources and applying it to our system. Check their Back to Work Guidance page in MyExtension often. The committee will continue to update this page and communicate with you often to assist your decision-making.

I sincerely thank all our task force and committee members for their willingness to fully embrace the charge placed before them and their ability to move their work forward quickly.

More notes

  • Goodbye … and welcome, April 2020: Please review this list of individuals who left ISU Extension and Outreach in the past month, as well as those who have joined our organization.
  • The May 11 Second Monday Live archive is available. The session included a brief update on ISU Extension and Outreach priorities for summer 2020 and a showcase on Community and Economic Development efforts related to COVID-19.
  • Advancement has created resources for reopening offices, including new signage and floor decals. Let Advancement know if there are other items you would recommend.
  • Do you have year-end dollars to spend? Advancement has collected a variety of materials you can request to use those dollars and update your branding. To make custom signage requests, talk with your advancement specialist.
  • The National Extension Conference on Volunteerism is set for April 26-29, 2021, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This conference is ideal for volunteer-focused professionals who are serving within all areas of extension programs. To learn more, join the NECV 2021 interest list-serv.

Debra M. Sellers
Associate Dean, College of Human Sciences
Director, Human Sciences Extension and Outreach